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Bernard Avenue facelift further delayed

With all the plans to make Kelowna more dynamic piling up, conflicts have arisen, putting back one of the areas more hotly anticipated projects.

“We’re waiting until the downtown plan moves further along, to move forward with Bernard Avenue,” said city urban design planner Pat McCormick, adding that the final public consultation would take place Feb. 7, at the Royal Ann Hotel. “It needs to be examined in terms of other things that might be happening.”

The Bernard Avenue plan is born out of a mix of necessity and opportunity. The city has to upgrade its electrical network on the main strip in the near future, and while the road is ripped up it was decided that a makeover would be in order.

The aim is to beautify an area often lamented as unfriendly to shoppers and tourists. The downtown plan, on the other hand, is replacing the much discussed, but ultimately defunct, CD-21 Zone plan.

Covering the areas north of the highway, between Richter Street and the Lake, the plan is about creating a cohesive vision for the downtown.

“We don’t typically come to council with regular updates on projects, but the type of work we’ve been doing in the last couple of months has been within the confines of city hall,” said city policy and planning director Signe Bagh. “Last fall, we said downtown planning would occur in three phases: First, research; second, stakeholder information and a charette; and phase three would be an implementation strategy.”

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